The the student services program coordinator is responsible for coordinating all logistical aspects of your trip, including rental cars, shuttles, hotels, flights and tour guides. Faculty/staff trip leaders are responsible for arranging all course-related site visits and making alumni contacts.
Faculty/staff trip leaders should not request quotes or make travel bookings without first notifying and receiving approval from the student services program coordinator. All confirmed appointments should be communicated to the coordinator as soon as possible to ensure the master itinerary is current.
All travel must be booked through the student services program coordinator and director of finance Katie Higgins to ensure compliance with ever-changing liability and financial rules. Some key rules are listed below:
All travel arrangements must be booked through the university. For group travel, we do not book travel arrangements through individuals’ point accounts with particular hotels/airlines.
All student travel with the university must be paid with university funds. Group travel cannot be booked on personal credit cards.
Trip leaders and field assistants must travel from Bloomington and back to Bloomington with the group. There will be no exceptions to this rule unless in extreme circumstances and with advance approval of the student services program coordinator and the dean.
Trip leaders and field assistants must travel in the same cabin as the students for air travel. This will always be in coach.
Selection of airlines and hotels must be based on price and convenience. We will not consider faculty/staff preference for airline mileage or hotel points. When possible, the student services program coordinator will share relevant flight options with you before booking to allow you the opportunity to express your preference for a particular schedule or itinerary.
Student trips traveling by air will always depart from the Indianapolis International Airport, unless schedules and prices make doing so financially or logistically prohibitive.
Group transportation in a chartered shuttle to/from the airport will be provided for in each trip budget, and all students are expected to travel with the group to/from the airport.
If your group is booked on an early morning flight, we will generally aim to provide an overnight stay in an airport near the hotel the night prior to departure.
Media School policy states that students will always fly as a group, departing whenever possible from the Indianapolis International Airport. In limited circumstances, field experience courses may ask students to fly separately, but this will only be done with strict approval by Media School administration.
The student services program coordinator will book spring semester flights no later than September with the help of a travel agent, and will also book roundtrip transportation between Bloomington and the airport.
IU has many rules about what you can pay for and how. The preferred means of payment is by purchase order (i.e., routing the payment through IU Travel Management), and we try to prepay as many expenses as possible.
You should determine early on which expenses students will be the students’ responsibility and which expenses are included in the trip fee. Typically, breakfasts are included and most other meals are not. We always provide health insurance and roundtrip transportation. Work with the student services program coordinator to clarify additional expenses. Be specific and transparent about this with the students so they can plan accordingly.
You will need to have an additional faculty or staff member serve as an field assistant. Field assistants cannot be overtime non-exempt employees.
It is generally The Media School’s preference to have one male and one female faculty/staff member on the trip, although exceptions may be made when the students traveling are all of the same gender. Field assistants are expected to understand and abide by the Field Assistant Policy. They will be offered per diem, but no other compensation. Staff do not need to take paid time off while working as a field assistant.
If you require your field assistant to have a particular language ability (or other particular capacity), or have a specific request for a particular person to act as your field assistant, please let the student services program coordinator know in writing as soon as possible. In the past, faculty from other departments have acted as field assistants on Media School trips; in these cases, the faculty member's department must cover all costs associated with his or her travel.
Applicants for field assistant positions will be evaluated collectively based on criteria designed to ensure student safety, encourage the professional development of faculty and staff, and promote the expansion of a robust field experience program for all Media School majors.
Some elements that will be considered when selecting field assistants include:
Language ability: For trips to countries where English is not predominantly spoken, ability in the local language will be seen as a plus and may be a requirement if the instructor of record deems necessary
Teaching and research interests: Applicants with teaching or research interests relevant to the course topic will be given preference, especially where participation as a field assistant will assist them in deepening their own teaching and scholarship
Preference of instructor of record: The interest of the professor teaching the travel course for a particular faculty or staff member will be strongly considered
Previous Media School travel opportunities: With an aim toward the fair distribution of travel-based teaching opportunities and the development of junior faculty, preference may be given to faculty who have not previously taught or assisted a field experience course
Future course proposal intentions: Faculty with specific intentions to develop future field experience course proposals are highly encouraged to serve as field assistants in order to deepen their understanding of the program objectives and logistical considerations when designing their own courses
It is important to think carefully about how you will get from place to place. Public transportation can be affordable and efficient, but it can be difficult to keep everyone together and make sure they know where to go. It is also challenging to coordinate buying tickets. If using public transportation, it is recommended to plan a time to go buy tickets for everyone and to have the field assistant accompany you to help.
Private coaches must be booked well in advance. IU must work with approved bus companies with a certificate of insurance, which can be challenging for foreign vendors. Note that university policy does not permit use of 12-passenger and 15-passenger vans.
The Office of Overseas Study recommends programs purchase supplemental health insurance plans for all students traveling internationally.
The Media School always includes this cost in its trip budgets, and purchases GeoBlue Student coverage in each student participants’ name. Supplemental health insurance is not provided to faculty and staff.
We typically rent international cell phones for trip leaders and field assistants, or allow them the option of upgrading their individual plan to a temporary international plan, which is eligible for limited reimbursement.
Students typically do not have cell phone service while in country, so you should set up some form of WiFi group communication (GroupMe, WeChat, etc.) and be strict about establishing and communicating meetup times and locations. We have rented mobile internet in the past when necessary for classwork. Consult with the student services program coordinator well in advance to coordinate this.
Generally, we cannot pay for cell phones for students. There are some exceptions to this, which require approval, in instances where it is necessary for student projects (e.g. field reporting). Consult with the student services program coordinator well in advance to coordinate this.
We try to stay at hotels that can provide breakfast. If not, it should be located in a neighborhood with quick and easy access to breakfast options. If there is a particular hotel or neighborhood you want to stay in, please communicate that as early as possible to the student services program coordinator.
OVST requires students to have their own bed (no sharing). Trip leaders and field assistants will get their own rooms. We typically assign by gender, but you also need to consider transgender students. If you are unsure how to handle this, GLBT Student Support Services and Residential Programs and Services can provide guidance.
You must obtain and bring back a hotel folio, or list of passenger names on hotel letterhead, for each place you stay. This is required for claiming per diem when you get back to campus. Don’t forget this step, as it’s much more difficult to obtain this document after the fact and will hold up your reimbursement process.
Students must obtain their own passports for international trips. They will be given an early deadline if they don’t already have one.
The student services program coordinator will check on visa requirements for U.S. passport holders for all trips and coordinate timelines for application processes when necessary (e.g., Summer in London, China, etc.). Sometimes we will complete applications as a group, and sometimes we will require students to complete them on their own.
The will also check on visa requirements for non-U.S. passport holders and guide those students as to their specific visa processes.
The Media School will open a group meeting credit card (i.e., travel credit card) in the name of the trip leader. Any prepaid expenses that cannot be paid for through a purchase order or invoice will be put directly onto the trip-specific credit card.
The trip leader must check out this credit card from director of finance Katie Higgins in the week preceding travel. The credit card should be used for approved trip-related expenses (typically museum entrances, meals, etc.), and receipts should always be kept and turned in to Higgins upon return.
If you do not already have a Media School travel credit card in your name, you will be asked to complete the application paperwork in the late summer or early part of the school year.
Absolutely no alcohol can be paid for with group meeting cards.
Sometimes vaccines are required for visas. If so, this information will be provided to students early on.
Generally, we advise students to consult with their doctors or the IU Health Center travel clinic for recommendations. We typically avoid requiring vaccines other than those required for visas, and instead guide students to see a health care provider.
If we do require a vaccine, we must establish a process with deadlines for submitting documentation. Faculty with prior experience in the country may wish to provide additional insight into the need for certain vaccinations or other health-related preparations.